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Submission + - Not in my ZIPCODE: Fracking increases hospital visits->

Michael Tiemann writes: An article published in PLOS One finds increased hospital admissions significantly correlated to living in the same ZIP CODE as active fracking sites. The data comes from three counties in Pennsylvania, whose ZIP CODEs mostly had no fracking sites in 2007 and transitioned to a majority of ZIP CODEs with at least one fracking site. While the statistical and medical data are compelling, and speak to a significant correlation, the graphical and informational figures flunk every Tufte test, which is unfortunate. Nevertheless, with open data and Creative Commons licensing, the paper could be rewritten to provide a more compelling explanation about the dangers of fracking to people who live within its vicinity, and perhaps motivate more stringent regulations to protect them from both immediate and long-term harm.
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Submission + - Some consumers habitually pick losers

AmiMoJo writes: If you’re still crying into your pillow at night over the demise of the Zune MP3 player or Crystal Pepsi, take a long, hard look into the mirror: Your shopping habits might have foretold the doom of your favourite, discontinued products. At least, according to a group of researchers pointing the finger at certain early adopters. In a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research, researchers identified particular kinds of consumers whose preferences can predict products that will flop, calling those folks “harbingers of failure.” “Certain customers systematically purchase new products that prove unsuccessful. Their early adoption of a new product is a strong signal that a product will fail.”

Submission + - The Weak Force does more than just cause radioactive decays

StartsWithABang writes: There are four known fundamental forces: gravitation, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. But while we often speak of gravitation as an attractive force between masses (or anything with energy), of the electric force as charged particles attracting or repelling, of quarks and gluons attracting one another and keeping nuclei bound together, we describe the weak force as “responsible for radioactive decay.” Is this right? Shouldn’t the weak force, you know, be a force? Shouldn’t there be a weak charge and attraction or repulsion based on that charge? As it turns out, there ought to be one, but due to the fact that it’s less than one-millionth the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, we were unable to measure it. Until 2013, that is, when we did for the first time!

Submission + - PayPal will robo-text/call you with no opt-out starting July 1->

OutOnARock writes: When eBay cuts PayPal loose this summer, users of the new digital money giant will find they've agreed to new terms of service that take effect July 1. Those terms include PayPal giving itself the right to robocall or robo-text members at any phone number the firm can find, for just about any reason — from debt collecting to advertisements to opinion polling.

The fine print also says PayPal can pass along the same rights to its affiliates. Here's the language, in black and white, from the company's website:

You consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages from PayPal at any telephone number that you have provided us or that we have otherwise obtained . . . . (PayPal) may share your phone numbers with our Affiliates or with our service providers, such as billing or collections companies, who we have contracted with to assist us in pursuing our rights.

If I can only use PayPal on eBay, it'll probably mean an end of eBay for me, what about you?

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Comment unintended non acceleration (Score 1) 258 258

Two different vehicles, two different hacks/hillbilly engineering solutions. An old Chevy Van 108 (the ones with the engine between the two front seats, solid front axle, three on the tree) where the gas pedal had broken free of the rotating rod that moved the linkage. A 6" pipe wrench adjusted just right was affixed to the rod and performed just as well as the pedal.

An old Beetle's accelerator cable broke near the pedal assembly...in morning rush hour traffic... in an effin snow storm. I barely was able to pull into a strip mall parking lot on the carb's fast idle cam. I rummaged through the glove box. A small key chain and a pink balloon were all I could find that looked helpful. It was enough. I forget exactly what I did other than the balloon got tied and knotted about the remaining cable end piece and the key chain which was looped around where the cable hooked up to the back of the pedal. As with any good hillbilly solution I left the "fix" in place as it held up to daily use for close to a year till It was decided I should just part with the three bucks and

replace the cable.

Submission + - Hunt for the Dangerous Defecator—company demands DNA swabs, employees sue->

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER writes: Who left offensive fecal matter throughout an Atlanta warehouse that stored and delivered products for grocery stores?

Two employees, who were forced to give a buccal cheek swab to determine if their DNA matched the poop, are suing in what could be the first damages trial resulting from the 2008 civil rights legislation Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which generally bars employers from using individuals' genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decision.

Although there was no DNA match, the two were offered a combined $200,000 settlement. The plaintiffs rejected it and "said the offer was a load of doo doo".

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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?->

An anonymous reader writes: We've been in a malware arms race since the 1990s. Malicious hackers keep building new viruses, worms, and trojan horses, while security vendors keep building better new detection and removal algorithms to stop them. Botnets are becoming more powerful, and phishing techniques are always improving — but so are the mitigation strategies. There's been some back and forth, but it seems like the arms race has been pretty balanced, so far. My question: will the balance continue, or is one side likely to take the upper hand over the next decade or two? Which side is going to win? Do you imagine an internet, 20 years from now, where we don't have to worry about what links we click or what attachments we open? Or is it the other way around, with threats so hard to block and DDoS attacks so rampant that the internet of the future is not as useful as it is now?
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Submission + - Prison inmate emails his own release instructions to the prison->

Bruce66423 writes: A fraudster used a mobile phone whilst inside a UK prison to email the prison a notice for him to be released, and WAS released. The domain was registered in the name of the police officer investigating him, and its address was the court building.
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Submission + - BIOS Rootkit Implant To Debut at CanSecWest->

msm1267 writes: Research on new BIOS vulnerabilities and a working rootkit implant will be presented on Friday at the annual CanSecWest security conference. An attacker with existing remote access on a compromised computer can use the implant to turn down existing protections in place to prevent re-flashing of the firmware, enabling the implant to be inserted and executed.

The devious part of the exploit is that the researchers have found a way to insert their agent into System Management Mode, which is used by firmware and runs separately from the operating system, managing various hardware controls. System Management Mode also has access to memory, which puts supposedly secure and privacy focused operating systems such as Tails in the line of fire of the implant.

Their implant, the researchers said, is able to scrape the secret PGP key Tails uses for encrypted communication, for example. It can also steal passwords and encrypted communication. The implant survives OS re-installation and even Tails’ built-in protections, including its capability of wiping RAM.

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"What I've done, of course, is total garbage." -- R. Willard, Pure Math 430a

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